Tufts University School of Dental Medicine names Dr. Huw F. Thomas as school’s 16th dean

Wales, U.K., native joins Tufts from University of Alabama at Birmingham

Boston, Mass. – Tufts University School of Dental Medicine announced today the appointment of Huw F. Thomas, B.D.S., M.S., Ph.D., as the school’s new dean, effective August 1, 2011.

Thomas joins Tufts from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), where he has served as dean of the School of Dentistry and a professor of pediatric dentistry since 2004. He is a highly respected leader in dental education, an accomplished researcher and a skilled administrator. Throughout his tenure at UAB, Thomas helped bring UAB to the forefront of reform in dental education with a progressive curriculum, while building a strong research enterprise in a clinical education setting.

Prior to joining UAB, Thomas held positions of increasing responsibility at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and the University of Connecticut Health Center. A native of Wales, U.K., Thomas earned his dental degree from the prestigious Guy’s Hospital at the University of London. He received a pediatric dentistry certificate from the Eastman Dental Center in Rochester, N.Y., and a master’s degree in dental research from the University of Rochester. He holds a doctorate in biomedical sciences from the University of Connecticut Health Center in Farmington.

Thomas is the author or co-author of more than 150 articles, chapters and abstracts in numerous scientific journals. His research focuses on tooth development, particularly that of the tooth root and periodontium, the tissues that surround and support the teeth. Most recently his studies have examined nutritional influences on the development of tooth enamel.

Thomas holds fellowships in the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, American College of Dentists and International College of Dentists. He is a member of several national and international associations and societies, including the Omicron Kappa Upsilon dental honor society.

Thomas chaired the American Dental Education Association’s Council of Deans and the Section on Dentistry and Oral Health Sciences of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has been a consultant and chair of site-visit teams for the Commission on Dental Accreditation, and previously served as a member of the National Board Test Construction Committee of the American Dental Association.  

In 2010, he received an Award for Excellence from the Society for Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine.

Thomas is the father of two grown daughters: Megan, a registered nurse in Birmingham, Ala., and Caitlin, an attorney in San Antonio, Texas.

“Dr. Thomas is a brilliant, visionary and collaborative leader who will work to maintain the highest standards of excellence for the School of Dental Medicine while strengthening the school’s relationships to the other parts of the university,” said Jamshed Bharucha, the Tufts University provost and senior vice president. “President Lawrence S. Bacow joins me in enthusiastically welcoming Dr. Thomas to Tufts, and President-elect Anthony P. Monaco is very much looking forward to working with Dr. Thomas in the years ahead.”

Tufts University School of Dental Medicine and the University of Alabama Birmingham share an interesting history. In 1949, dental school Dean Joseph Volker left Tufts to head the newly established School of Dentistry at UAB. Volker went on to become UAB’s president and chancellor. 

 Today’s announcement was made by Tufts Provost and Senior Vice President Jamshed Bharucha and Vice Provost Peggy Newell.

About Tufts University School of Dental Medicine

Founded in 1868, Tufts University School of Dental Medicine (TUSDM) is committed to leadership in education, patient care, research and community service. Students obtain an interdisciplinary education, integrated with medicine, with access to training in dental specialties. Clinics managed at TUSDM provide quality comprehensive care to more than 18,000 diverse individuals annually, including those with special needs. Nationally and internationally, the School promotes health and educational programs and researches new procedures, materials and technologies to improve oral health.



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